Why I deactivated my Facebook page

The below comment, which comes from someone impersonating my public-facing verified page, appears below every single post I put up at Facebook:


I kid you not, this has been going on for at least three full years, maybe longer.

I always reported the account, reported the comment and blocked the user who placed it – and the fake page they’d created – but my submission of these reports would go absolutely nowhere. Into thin air. No response from Facebook. No attempt to stop more of them from sprouting up. No effort whatsoever and no action. So the very next post I’d put up, one hour later or one week later, an identical comment from an identical impersonator would appear. Also scamming people with some sort of fake offer for crypto currency (of course it’s crypto. Not everyone who is involved in crypto is a thief, but every thief is involved in crypto).

You could set your watch by it – post, post, post, fake comment, fake comment, fake comment, block, block, block. I’d block the user and report the comment again and again and nothing would happen. Other people – followers, fans, my coworkers – would report and block them too. For nothing. It never stopped, up til and including my last post.

And what’s crazy is that these comments appear below my work automatically, within a second of its posting. That’s how you know there’s a software program doing this. Which means they’re doing a lot of it, which means the platform ought to be able to shut it down, en masse, via whatever API this bot farm has access through. But they won’t. Because it’s either benefiting them in some way or they don’t give a shit.

Think about how easy it would be to black label all comments with “BTC” in them and let the authors and verified creators approve the wrongly gatekept ones while auto-deleting the scams. They could write that program in one day and stop all of these frauds and honeypots cold.

This process of report-n-block has been repeated by me (and others visiting my page) dozens and dozens of times. To no avail. Because Facebook’s engagement stats are themselves a scam and their “safety” initiatives are a smoke screen.

The reality is that Meta reports the activity of bots and fake accounts as though they are active users to glamour their advertisers and juice the numbers for Wall Street. And they talk about safety just to shut their European critics the f*** up so they can continue to rake in ad dollars and operate as they please. The Mark Zuckerbot cares less about safety than you care about today’s cricket scores for the Indian Premier League.

And It’s okay, I’m not mad about it, I just don’t want to participate anymore. So I deactivated my public-facing Facebook page and I will not return until I have reason to believe that creators and their fans are being protected.

I have no idea how many stupid people have engaged with this comment from my page and others over the years. I couldn’t tell you how many dollars have been wired to or stolen by whatever dirtbag person or entity is behind it. I can’t even guess at a number. But if it’s even one dollar, it’s one too many. Facebook could have and should have disabled scams like these years ago. For some reason, they haven’t.

So I’m out. I can’t stand by and contribute to this anymore.

And, to be honest, it’s an easy decision for me because I am not a Facebook user anyway. Everything I’ve posted there has gone through Buffer, our social media manager. The only reason to ever visit actual Facebook.com is to try to block crypto scams from my comments or reconnect the Buffer account whenever Meta makes an API change. My friends don’t post there. I don’t post there. I don’t care about anything that goes on there. I certainly don’t rely on it for news. I don’t want to connect with (or think about) people from the past. I’m not nostalgic for any of it. And I hate wishing random acquaintances a happy birthday. So what on earth would I be doing there?

To my fans who have been following me via my Facebook page, if you’re wondering where it went, now you know. Please consider following via one of the below channels, where you are more respected as a user:

Subscribe to The Reformed Broker’s email blast, at right (Subscribe & Reform)

LinkedIn (my favorite social network)

Mastodon (I’m just posting dumb stuff there to make myself laugh)

The Reformed Broker blog Twitter (automated, just tweets links to posts on the blog)

Subscribe to the YouTube channel

Subscribe to The Compound and Friends podcast

Join us at 5pm ET for a special live premier of our conversation with D.K. Metcalf of the Seattle Seahawks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pywAvpjbWE

Have a great week everyone!

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